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From The CriticsReviewer: Jeremy D Schmahmann, MD (Massachusetts General Hospital)
Description: The ability to reliably identify cerebral cortical areas of the human brain in morphometric and functional imaging studies is a major goal of contemporary cognitive neuroscience. To this end, Hanna Damasio's second and fully revised edition of her atlas is an extremely practical guide to the gross morphology of the human brain.
Purpose: This revised atlas identifies cerebral gyri in the cardinal planes used in clinical, morphometric and functional MRI scans, and addresses issues of individual variation between brains and between hemispheres of the same brain. This is a valuable and important tool that further facilitates structure-function and clinical-anatomical correlations in the human brain.
Audience: The book is written for clinicians and researchers involved in the elucidation of structure-function correlations of the human cerebral cortex. Medical students, graduate students, residents, fellows and practitioners in neurology, neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience, psychiatry, surgery, radiology, and the inter-related disciplines engaged in functional neuroimaging will benefit from access to this careful and detailed analysis written by an authoritative figure in the field.
Features: This meticulous and detailed analysis of human gyral morphology recognizes variations between and within brains. It commences with a comparative gross morphometry of brains from different primates, and then shows that within human brains there is inter-individual variability of even the major fissures. The external features of three brains with different shapes (one dolicocephalic and two brachicephalic) are presented, including Brodmann area equivalents in the dolicephalic brain. This is followed by a demonstration in 26 brains of overt sulcal and gyral variations. The bulk of the book comprises the MRI images of the three different brains sectioned in the axial, coronal and sagittal planes used in clinical and research scans. The gyri are clearly labeled, and the incidence (plane of section) is identified on the lateral and medial views of the hemisphere on every page. It concludes with examples of how the cerebral cortical localization of focal lesions can be accurately identified on MRI using this atlas. What is missing is identification of structures in the cerebellum even though the cerebellar fissures and lobules are clearly identifiable. Clinicians and researchers interested in structure-function correlations of the human cerebellum will need to turn to the MRI Atlas of the Human Cerebellum, by Schmahmann (Academic Press, 2000) for this information.
Assessment: In Dr. Damasio's thoroughly revised second edition of her book, she enhances the understanding of common principles of gross brain organization. It provides users with confidence in their ability to identify focal regions of the cerebral cortex on computerized scans, and leads them through the intricacies of the relationship of gross morphology to Brodmann architecture. This outstanding atlas thus facilitates further detailed exploration of the functional attributes of the cerebral cortical structures so carefully analyzed throughout the work.